Over the last week I have had the pleasure of doing a wide variety of activities and conversations, which have raised some interesting points and made both myself and the whole PG team think about what we do and where we go.
Over the course of the week gone, we have taught some most excellent Chinese Tourists about Afternoon Tea; We have visited the Best Of Britannia pop-up event; We have taught French students about Britain and business and had conversations with people in similar fields to us and different ones. Throughout it all one thing stood out, brand Britain is hugely respected overseas, despite what we think in the UK.
I was listening to a panel at the Best of Britannia event (our review will be posted later this week) in which the legendary Katharine Hamnett said something very interesting that struck a deep chord. She said, and I am paraphrasing, that there are only 60 odd million in the UK and there are Billions in China and India, and beyond, who admire British quality, style and fashion and we should focus on them and not the UK market. Now, I know that she was referring to fashion and specifically textiles, but it is true for so many areas of business, including ours.
This was certainly reaffirmed by the conversations we have had and the teaching we have done this week. Britain has a brand that is highly valued around the world. We are not talking of the ‘Cool Britannia’ of the 1990’s. This Modern take on Britannia brand is about the power of history combined with the modern chutzpah of Great Britain as it is today.
Why do the French want to come here and start businesses? Why are the Chinese fascinated with our History, or Etiquette and our Style brands? Why is there more interest in the Royal Family and respect for them in the USA? Brand Britannia is there, we have yet to embrace it internally in the UK.
We should be celebrating this and shouting from the rooftops. I am well aware that is not very British thing to do and probably not a very Gentlemanly thing to do. We need to survive and thrive as a nation. We need to stand out in the endless noise of the modern world. We need to reclaim the good parts of what we did in the past and be proud of it.
We need to show we are the epitome of Style, Tailoring and Fashion, as we have been before. We need to behave with grace, thought and manners to those both within our borders and overseas. We need to support our British business strengths, from the creative to the financial and everything in between.
This brand is not the ‘cool’ of 20 years ago, we have grown up since then. We are more mature, sophisticated and ready to take on the world with grace and style, this is Grand Britannia and long may she rule!
So, what does that mean for us at The Perfect Gentleman? We always knew that our biggest markets were overseas and now that this has be thrown into sharp relief by last week’s activites. So we are going to focus on them more and more.
We will be heading to the USA, bringing our revamped ‘Becoming the Perfect Gentleman – Live’ event on tour in the first half of 2015 and then onto China after that.
We will be running courses in the UK for our overseas visitors on such things as British Culture & Etiquette as well as style and more.
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